40 Years Ago: DEAD KENNEDYS release Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Daily Noise -

40 Years Ago: DEAD KENNEDYS release Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

We were meticulous. We were never - and I have never been - fast in the studio. 'California Uber Alles', just a goddamn single, took a month. But the results speak for themselves. The rest of the band would really get down on me for being too picky, or not looking at my watch, like Ray always did, perhaps because I didn't own one at the time. my feeling about this was, it wasn't just an attempt to document what we played at our live shows. I felt as a record collector and a fan, that these versions of the songs are the ones that everyone is going to hear five, ten, fifty years from now. So as far as I was concerned, they damn well better be the best version of the song we ever played. That was the standard I tried to maintain. How many arguments it took!

Jello Biafra interview, Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables: The Early Years

DEAD KENNEDYS released their debut album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, on this day in 1980 through Cherry Red.

Cherry Red gave us $10,000 and I suggested to the band we use $6,000, and we get $1,000 each, because that's probably the last money we'd see! So we did it for $6,000. I'd been reading recording books and subscribed to the magazines back in the day. And they said the way to maximise your studio time is pre-production. And that's when you really know what you're doing to do, it's all mapped out. You have this much time to do the basics, recording the bass and drums, then this much time for guitar overdubs, this much time for lead and background vocals. This much time for the fancy stuff like keyboards and horns and then this much time for mixing. It was all planned out. People don't realise in music, you ready about these muscians on MTV, and it all looks like fun and games. But 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.

East Bay Ray interview, Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables: The Early Years

The cover image is from a photograph taken during the San Francisco White Night riots on 21 May 1979.

Cars on fire, San Francisco White Night Riots, 1979